How to bring relief to tighter budgets and improve cost savings will be the focus of many organisations, golf courses, service and equipment managers under pressure to maximise efficiency and minimise labour and maintenance equipment costs. A major factor in achieving excellent savings is to look at how you maintain the sharpness of your equipment's cutting units.
So, let's look at why we need sharp blades/cylinders/reels.
Condition of the turf is paramount to a good playing surface; unhealthy turf brings countless problems and other issues which are costly to correct. Therefore, prevention is better than cure and provides a more economic approach.
Manufacturers of grass cutting equipment supply new units relief ground. They have spent a good deal of time and money on research and development to discover that relief grinding is by far the best method for cutting units to produce the cleanest cut possible with the least amount of damage to the plant.
So, what are the reasons we need to relief grind?
Tests carried out by leading manufacturers have established that relief ground cylinders stay on cut up to 3 or 4 times longer than spun ground ones and require less horsepower to drive the unit.
The resulting factors are greater fuel efficiency and less stress on the hydraulic power systems.
Another major advantage is a relief ground cylinder will deal with abrasive effects of topdressing.
The relief edge on both the bed-knife and the cylinder allows the top dressing to clear the cutting blades easily, preventing the dulling effect seen with only spin grinding units, due to the wider contact area.
Blades of the cutting cylinder being sharpened individually / Bottom blade being sharpened
Continual spin grinding of cylinders/reels results in more frequent replacement due to the material removed each time; whereas the relief ground will be replaced less often.
Another major and important consideration is to retain the original factory specification by returning an as new cut as quickly as possible.
The cleaner cut achieved by relief grinding gives a higher standard of after-cut appearance, which also reduces the stress on components because less horsepower is needed to drive the cylinder.
We need to acknowledge how relief grinding does this for a cylinder/reel, by removing metal from the trailing edge of the blade in turn forms a relief angle, which reduces the contact area of the cutting edges, resulting in less friction, longer wear life.
Improved horsepower results
When a cylinder/reel and blades wear, or are spun ground, it has a flatter, larger contact area. Also, it can become coned or tapered which causes more stress and strain on the drive system.
The normal or expected horsepower requirement with a relief ground unit is 0.88hp, therefore a 5-unit machine can require up to 4.5hp (5 x 0.88hp = 4 5hp) to drive the cutting units.
A 35hp engine has 30.5hp remaining to drive the rest of the machine system. A 5-gang unit, which has been spun ground only, can require up to 13hp (5 x 2.59hp = 13hp), leaving only 22hp to drive the machine along.
So, it is established that relief grinding cutting units saves you money, not only by reducing workshop maintenance and downtime with far fewer grinds, but a reduction in fuel costs and replacement parts which can often be a hidden saving cost that is easily missed.
A Hunter Grinder is the ultimate all-in-one mower grinder, combining precision spin and relief operations in one machine, although both methods can be used independently if the user desires.
Hunter Grinders' all-new Jupiter ATI 6000 relief grinder is one machine that can fully relief, or spin and relief grind, returning cylinders and bottom blades back to the manufacturer's original specification. Other models in the Jupiter, Juno and Amazon ranges give lower cost and alternative options.
The ATI 6000 specification is technology rich. It enables the operator to programme the machine then carry out other work. The time mowers spend in the workshop has a huge impact on turf maintenance operations, especially at the height of the season, so the choice of grinder is a significant one for any organisation.
Currently, with an offer of two years interest free credit, the cost savings can fund your project.